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Rooms of their Own: Dwellings of the Enslaved and the Free in the early Americas

Exhibition at the John Carter Brown Library, Providence, Rhode Island, February-May, 2018

The physical structures that housed those who lived in slavery in the early Americas were a powerful symbol of the dehumanization of the millions of Africans and people of African descent whose labor built New World plantation societies and newly globalizing economies. They were also the concrete embodiment of the social and economic system that left them at the mercy of profit-driven slave-holders. Using items from the JCB’s unparalleled collections on the history of slavery in the early Americas, this exhibition presents a narrative of slave dwellings that begins in West Africa, addresses captives’ temporary ship-bound confinement in the Middle Passage and then focusses on the slave dwelling construction techniques used between the fifteenth- and the eighteenth-centuries and the ways in which slave dwellings formed part of the visual imagery of the broader colonial built environment. It concludes by considering slavery and housing in the nineteenth century. Through graphic and textual sources, the exhibition reconstructs how those millions who lived in the bonds of slavery sought literally to make new homes or improve old ones in what was the most inhospitable of environments.

Exhibition curated by Dr. Bertie Mandelblatt, George S. Parker II '51 Curator of Maps and Prints, John Carter Brown Library

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PART OF
John Carter Brown Library Exhibitions
John Carter Brown Library
American Libraries
Media Type
14
texts
Year
1
1898
1
1839
1
1820
1
1777
1
1755
2
1707
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Topics & Subjects
2
Buccaneers
2
Catalogs, Booksellers' -- France -- 1686
2
Imprint 1686
2
Imprint 1707
2
Imprint 1725
2
Jamaica -- Description and travel
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Collection
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Creator
2
exquemelin, a. o. (alexandre olivier)
2
sloane, hans, sir, 1660-1753
1
belgrove, william
1
benoit, p. j. (pierre jacques), 1782-1854
1
benzoni, girolamo, 1519-1572?
1
beverley, robert, approximately 1673-1722
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Language
7
English
3
Dutch
3
French
1
German
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Title
Date Published
Creator
[20], 1,392 pages, [72] p. : 35 cm (fol.)
Topics: Herbs, Herbals, Botany, Medical, Botany -- Pre-Linnean works, Potatoes, Tobacco, Tomatoes, Imprint...
2 v. : 36 cm. (fol.)
Topics: Natural history -- Jamaica, Jamaica -- Description and travel, Imprint 1707, Imprint 1725
[16], 104, 40, 64, 83, [1], 16, [4] p., 14 leaves of plates, [1] folded leaf : 20 cm. (8vo)
Topics: Indians of North America -- Virginia, Indians of North America -- Virginia -- Social life and...
2 v. : 36 cm. (fol.)
Topics: Natural history -- Jamaica, Jamaica -- Description and travel, Imprint 1707, Imprint 1725
[16], 516, 40, [4] p., [115] leaves of plates (1 double folded) : 32 cm. (fol.)
Topics: Shipbuilding, Naval art and science, Imprint 1671
[28], 207, [1], 280, [28] p., [16] leaves of plates (13 folded) : 22 cm. (4to)
Topics: West-Indische Compagnie (Netherlands), Slave trade, Natural history -- Africa, West -- Pre-Linnean...
2 v. : 17 cm (12mo)
Topics: L'Olonnais, 1630-1671, Morgan, Henry, 1635?-1688, Buccaneers, Pirates, Catalogs, Booksellers' --...
xxviii, 429 p., [79] leaves of plates : 24 cm
Topics: West Indies, Cuba -- Description and travel, Puerto Rico -- Description and travel
[20], 404 p. : 15 cm. (8vo)
Topic: Latin America -- History
[4], 88, 87-106 p., [7] leaves of plates : 22 cm. (4to)
Topics: Slavery -- Barbados, Blacks -- West Indies -- Social conditions, Barbados -- Description and...
[6], 76 p., [1], XLIX leaves of plates : 50 cm. (fol.)
Topics: Suriname -- Description and travel, Imprint 1839
2 v. : 17 cm (12mo)
Topics: L'Olonnais, 1630-1671, Morgan, Henry, 1635?-1688, Buccaneers, Pirates, Catalogs, Booksellers' --...
2 v. in 1 (v. 1: [16], 444, [4] p., [4] folded leaves of plates; v. 2: [4]., [447]-1068, [46] p., [4] folded leaves of plates) : 21 cm. (8vo)
Topics: Moravian Church -- Missions -- Virgin Islands of the United States, Missions -- Virgin Islands of...
[2], 86 p. ; 21 cm. (4to)
Topics: Sugar growing -- West Indies, Agriculture -- West Indies, Imprint 1755